“ The Federal Government welcomes the #YouCanTalk campaign, which encourages Australians struggling with their mental health to reach out and find support.
The awareness campaign is a collaboration between several organisations, including Beyond Blue, Everymind, headspace, Lifeline, ReachOut, RU OK?, SANE Australia, the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, Roses in the Ocean and the Black Dog Institute.
The campaign will take place over the December-January holiday period, in recognition of how difficult this time of year can be for many Australians.
Our Government commends the collaboration of these organisations to raise awareness about the importance of starting a conversation, particularly over the Christmas-New Year period.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt Press Release continued Part 1 below
Read over 160 Aboriginal Health and Suicide Prevention articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years
” Suicide has emerged in the past half century as a major cause of premature mortality and is a contributor to the overall health and life expectancy gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the age-standardised suicide rate was more than twice as high as the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rate.”
What we know about suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people : or see Part 3 Below
Sadly, more than 3,000 Australians choose to end their lives each year – about eight people a day.
Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, creating a ripple effect that flows through families, friendship groups, schools, workplaces and communities.
That’s why the Federal Government has committed to Towards Zero – working towards reducing the suicide rate to zero.
Towards Zero is a total commitment to the value of each and every life, and recognises the importance of all lives, in all ages, and all groups.
This commitment is backed by our investment of $5.2 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services this financial year, including $63.3 million on suicide prevention activities.
It’s so important for Australians who are struggling to reach out and seek support.
The #YouCanTalk campaign also aims to connect people with tools that can support them through their website
#YouCanTalk exists to encourage all Australians to have a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague they’re concerned about.
While it can be difficult to talk about suicide, research shows you can have a positive influence on someone who may be considering suicide by initiating a conversation with them and supporting them to seek help.
The main message is you don’t need to be a clinician, a GP, or a nurse to check-in with someone you are worried about.
It is OK to let someone know you have noticed they are struggling and ask them if they are experiencing thoughts of suicide.
It is normal to feel worried or nervous about having a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, but there are resources available to help you.
Life in Mind is a national digital gateway providing organisations and communities access to suicide prevention information, programs, services, resources and research.
Tips to consider if you are talking to someone you are worried about:
- It is better to reach out than avoid the person for fear of getting the conversation wrong. Experts generally agree that asking someone whether they are thinking about suicide is unlikely to make the situation worse or ‘put ideas in their head’.
- If you feel uncertain if your friend or loved one may be at risk, ask the question directly – “Are you having thoughts about suicide?” and be prepared for the answer to be yes.
- Make the person feel comfortable by listening without judgement or criticism and don’t try to ‘fix’ the problem or talk them out of suicide. Just listen.
- Ensure they are safe for now and talk to the person about who else to involve so they can be supported. You can assist by connecting them with other supports and services.
- Connect with resources and supports that are available to you to help you navigate the conversation.
Suicide has emerged in the past half century as a major cause of premature mortality and is a contributor to the overall health and life expectancy gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
In 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the age-standardised suicide rate was more than twice as high as the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rate.
The standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (24.1 per 100, 000) was higher than the non-Indigenous rate (12.4 per 100, 000)2.
On average, over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons end their lives through suicide each year, accounting for 1 in 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.
Further suicide data can be found at the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, and from the ATSISPEP report.
Three main issues can be identified:
- There is variable quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification at the state and national levels, resulting in an expected under-reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicides.
- Lack of reporting on suicide due to questions regarding intent, especially in the case of childhood suicides. Similarly, it can be demonstrated that there may be a reluctance to classify adult deaths as suicides for a variety of reasons also.
- Delays in reporting data, whereby incidences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide might not be known for months and often years after the fact.